Thursday, October 29, 2009


My Rocket Socks is dying. We have had her for ten years. As she was a starving stray when we took her in I have no idea how old she is. In dog years my cat is probably ancient. Anyway she is coming to the end of her long and sweet life. I cry all the time.

I knew she was not well when we left for the wedding. She was a bit lethargic and her breath smelled awful. She has had bad teeth for years. I kept putting off getting them all pulled as I didn't want her to be without teeth. As she was still eating like a horse and drinking like a fire engine I figured she was fine and I would take her to the vet and get the teeth attended to when we got home. I checked on her during the week we were gone and her caretaker said she was about the same. I was not worried in the slightest.

She had lost two pounds by the time we returned home. She was so dehydrated her skin was tenting up. The whole house stank of her foul breath. I rushed her to the vet. You guessed it. Renal failure. I should have guessed it too only I was so focused on her teeth kidney failure never occurred to me. I felt pole axed when the nice young vet told me she was dying. I couldn't think. He kept gently asking me to make a decision about putting her to sleep vs. treatment. I was unable to process what he was saying. Finally he left me alone and let me sit down and hold her and think. Eventually he came back into the room and talked to me. He said although her lab work was "off the chart" he thought she had a good chance of "coming out" of "this episode." She was still eating and drinking and eliminating. She did not seem to be in any pain. She was still alert. After much conversation I decided to opt for treatment. I was not ready to lose her.

She spent two days at the vet. They gave her two bags of IV fluid. A bag of IV fluid is almost the same size as a cat. They put her on antibiotics for her teeth. They let me bring her her rat. She curled up around it and slept. I spent the two days holding her basket and howling like another sick animal. Grief like I have never experienced it. I think I have lived in a house of grief my whole life but have never ventured beyond the foyer. Her death is allowing me to finally enter all the rooms and wash them clear. One more blessing she is giving me.

We brought her home. I am giving her oral antibiotics daily and irrigating her mouth with peroxide and salt water every few hours. She hates it all. Me too. She perked right up after all that fluid. Was almost like her old self for four days. But it was not to last. In the past twenty-four hours her eating, drinking and eliminating have slowed way down. We are going to the vet in the morning. I hope it will be for more IV fluid and a return home, but I am not counting on it.

When we were at the vet's the first time he told us how they dispose of their dead animals. They take them to the dump and throw them on the pile of all the road kill and untagged wild animals found during the past month. Then they burn them. I was so grateful he told us that. We will bring her home. I have picked out her favorite basket and blanket. We will wrap her in her blanket, put her in her basket with her blue rat, put all of that in a big garbage bag and then bury her beside the rose bush. It has been getting below zero here at night. Mark dug the hole a couple of days ago while the ground was still soft.

I intend to spend the evening holding and petting my kitty whom I love. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Take care of yourselves. Love Lynn

Friday, October 16, 2009


From the "biggest little city in the world." Reno is great. The fall colors are magnificent and the sun is shining.

We left Tuesday in a welter of last minute details. I forgot friend Kim's phone number and address, and the confirmation code for the hotel. We had to go back home to get it. Mark was not amused. We eventually got down the road. We made it as far as Wells, NV. The drive was wonderful. We toured southern Idaho to circumvent the Salt Lake. The trees were blazing red. Was a great drive. We then rode an old Nevada highway to Wells. Was like being in Wyoming twenty years ago. We did not see a soul for hours. I don't suppose on an August afternoon this would have been a wonderful route, but on a rainy fall afternoon it was magic.

The motel in Wells was dirty and noisy but at least it was expensive. Sigh. We drove into Reno the next day. Sunshine all the way. We drove right to the Peppermill even though I forgot the directions. We felt blessed. Here is where my story takes a u-turn. I had not been in a casino for years. And never one this big. Gad. It was like entering Dante's Inferno.

Can I tell you first about the cigarette smoke. I grew up with people who smoked. It was no big deal. At 52 after not being around it for years, it is a BIG deal. My eyes are gritty and I cough. My hair stinks, in fact everything we own stinks. I will even have to launder the suitcases when we get home.

In an effort to save money I booked the cheapest room available at the "Pep." Big mistake. We are in a ground floor room next to a busy street. I firmly believe freight trains playing loud mariachi music go by once an hour day and night. The room looks plush but is missing many of the amenities we have come to expect in hotels. Like tissues, towel racks, a microwave and fridge, and a coffee maker. It does have a fully stocked mini bar, a huge tray of candy and nuts in little jars, and a huge t.v. for in room gambling and porno movies. About that tray off food, everything is on a sensor. If you pick it up you have just purchased a five dollar bag of nuts. We don't go anywhere near it. Our room is in a small building miles from the main casino. This is good in that the smoke doesn't seem to have drifted this far, yet. The bad thing is that the building is made of cardboard walls. We seem to have a troupe of clog dancers above us. They must practice their various routines during the night. These numbers are punctuated by one of the troupe dropping five pound bar-bells intermittently. Mark is snoring through it all. Phooey.

We have seen friend Kim and her intended. They are in love, and lovely. A fine sight to behold. This should be a fun wedding. We have visited the art museum and the historical society museum. Both places well worth seeing. Okay I have to hurry I am having a manicure in five minutes. The hotel has a huge plushy spa attached. We are going to Lake Tahoe for wedding practise this afternoon. Then the rehearsal dinner.

Clothes and fat have turned out to be a non-issues. I am so happy to be here what I look like doesn't matter.

Take care, Love Bea

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Garbo and Me, (Greta not Marx)

We have been traveling around the state visiting friends and relations. A good time was had by all. The one exception was having to travel a whole gob more miles because Yellowstone was on fire, again.

I am out of step with the times. I do not want to:

1. Twitter or tweet
2. Face up to Face book
3. Read all the emails forwarded to me
4. Text
5. Keep my cell phone turned on
6. Ride the continual wave on the blog surf
7. Kindle my books
8. IPod my music
9. GPS my travels
10. Pay my bills on-line.

Because I stubbornly refuse to be available to all comers at all hours, I am losing contact with people. I most bitterly regret that.

I love silence. I luxuriate in silence. I stretch and relax and purr in the silence. I regenerate in silence. I pray and am heard in silence. Continual noisy activity jangles and jars me. It sucks out my being. It is no surprise I wrote a thesis about medieval anchoresses, women walled up in a cell connected to a church. A bed, a table and chair, a good fire, a loving cat, a few victuals, books, pen and paper, and a small window to the outside world, my idea of Heaven on Earth.

My need for long stretches of quiet time is always misunderstood as lack of love and interest. Not true. I value my family and friends much more than they know. My need for contact is vital, but not daily, weekly, monthly or God forbid by the minute. This attitude is considered selfish and narcissistic at worst or standoffish and odd at best. It has cost me relationships, opportunities and experiences I was loathe to lose.

In my doldrums I believe myself to be a mentally ill neurotic who isolates herself in fear of a world she cannot control. Like my mother. In my blessedness I believe myself to be a quiet deep reservoir into whom flows Grace and out of whom flows Love and Peace. Like my God. I expect it is some of both. Anyway if you are still out there reading, for my part know you remain connected to me by intention if not deed.

We will leave soon for friend Kim's wedding. I am looking forward to it. I hope to heck it doesn't snow the whole darn way. I haven't yet got my winter legs.

Take care, Love Bea